Chemistry

Difference Between Oxidation and Reduction

Main difference

The main difference between oxidation and reduction is that oxidation is the increase in oxidation state while reduction is the decrease in oxidation state…

Oxidation versus reduction

Oxidation can be well defined as the loss of electrons from a molecule, atom, or ion, while reduction is the gain of electrons from a molecule, atom, or ion. Oxidation is the addition of oxygen during the reaction, while reduction is the loss of oxygen during the reaction. Oxidation is the loss of protons during the reaction; conversely, reduction is the proton gain during the reaction. Oxidation is the increase in the oxidation state, while reduction is the decrease in the oxidation state. Oxidation involves increasing the positive charge of chemical species, while reduction involves negative charge of chemical species. Oxidation always occurs in reducing agents, conversely, reduction occurs in oxidizing agents. Oxidation is a process in which it releases energy, while reduction is a process in which it stores energy. Oxidation is a process related to the reducing agent, on the other hand, reduction is a process related to the oxidizing agent. Oxidation is the addition of an electronegative atom or ion, while reduction is the removal of an electronegative atom or ion. Oxidation is the removal of an electropositive atom or ion, while reduction is the addition of an electropositive atom or ion. Oxidation is a process in which the reactant supplies energy, while reduction is a process in which the reactant receives energy. Oxidation is the removal of an electropositive atom or ion, while reduction is the addition of an electropositive atom or ion. Oxidation is a process in which the reactant supplies energy, while reduction is a process in which the reactant receives energy. Oxidation is the removal of an electropositive atom or ion, while reduction is the addition of an electropositive atom or ion. Oxidation is a process in which the reactant supplies energy, while reduction is a process in which the reactant receives energy.

Comparison chart
Oxidation Reduction
Oxidation is the increase in oxidation state. Reduction is the decrease in the oxidative state.
Loss or gain of protons
loss of a proton The gain of a proton
Addition or removal of oxygen
oxygen addition Oxygen removal
Loss or gain of electron
loss of electrons electron gain
electronegative atom or ion
addition of atom or electronegative ion Removal of electronegative ions or atoms
electropositive atom or ion
Removal of electropositive atoms or ions addition of electropositive atom or ion
Thermal energy during the reaction
supplies energy stores energy
Oxidation state
Increases the oxidation state Decreases oxidation state
Idea
Occurs in reducing agent Occurs in oxidizing agent

What is oxidation?

Oxidation is a process in which the species loses an electron or a proton. It is a process of adding oxygen. Oxidation is a process in which an increase in oxidation state occurs. Oxidation always occurs where there is a reducing agent. It always supplies power to the system. The oxidation reaction is a half reaction. It implies an increase in positive charge or a decrease in negative charge. Oxidation is the addition of an electronegative atom or ion and the removal of an electropositive atom or ion. Previously the definition of oxygen was that where there is an addition of oxygen there is oxidation, but this idea cannot last much longer because there is some oxidation reaction where there is no oxygen. From this we can say that oxygen is not necessary for oxidation reactions. There is also an old definition of oxidation which is the removal of hydrogen. But this cannot be valid for all chemical reactions either. Oxidation is half of the process, where there is loss of an electron to the environment, there is a chemical species that accepts this electron. It means that where there is oxidation there is a reduction.

Example

Fe +2 oxidizes to Fe +3

What is reduction?

Reduction is a process in which a species gains an electron or a proton. It is the process of removing oxygen. Reduction is a process in which there is a decrease in the oxidation state. Reduction always occurs where there is an oxidizing agent. It always gets energy from the system and stores itself. It always causes a decrease in positive charge and an increase in negative charge. Reduction is the removal of an electronegative atom or ion and the addition of an electropositive atom or ion during a chemical reaction. Reduction is a process that is commonly used in acid-base reactions or electrochemical processes along with oxidation. Previously, reduction was believed to mean the removal of oxygen, but this old definition did not hold for long because there are some redox processes where there is no oxygen. It means that oxygen is not essential for the reduction. There was also an old definition that reduction means the addition of an electron, but this is not entirely acceptable for some reactions. But now the new definition is the most acceptable. Furthermore, we know that downsizing is half the process. In redox processes where there is a reduction, there will be oxidation.

Example

Mn +7 is reduced to Mn +2

Key differences

  1. Oxidation is the cause of an increase in the oxidation state, while reduction is the cause of a decrease in the oxidation state.
  2. Oxidation is the result of the loss of an electron by the reactant. On the other hand, the reduction is the result of the gain of an electron by the reactant.
  3. Oxidation is the result of proton loss by the reactant: conversely, reduction is the result of proton gain by the reactant.
  4. Oxidation causes an increase in positive charge, while reduction causes a decrease in positive charge.
  5. Oxidation occurs where there is a reducing agent; on the other hand, reduction occurs where there is an oxidizing agent.
  6. Oxidation is the addition of oxygen, while reduction is the removal of oxygen.
  7. Oxidation is the addition of an electronegative atom or an ion, conversely, reduction is the addition of an electropositive atom or an ion.
Final Thoughts

The above discussion concludes that oxidation and reduction are the two half-reactions of a complete redox reaction. The basic difference is that oxidation increases the oxidation state; on the other hand, reduction results in the lowering of the oxidation state.

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